Before you can smoke it, you do need to dry and cure the plant. This is normally seen as a post-harvest sort of method, but they are usually done at different times, occasionally back to back, but the goal is different for each.
Curing and drying have the goal of getting rid of the moisture from the cannabis that’s harvested in the best way. Drying is first done to get rid of the outer layers of moisture in the flower itself. The curing is then done to get rid of the moisture within the flower, and to ensure that the flower isn’t too dry either since it does create the best smell, taste, and effects of the flower.
Removing this is super important, since the water that’s in it affects the results from smoking it. It also will not ignite, and it won’t have much flavor. Plus, it’s going to be super harsh. It also is not good for storage for the long-term, as both mold and bacteria are going to affect it, and it can be a breeding ground for that.
When you remove it, you need to make sure that you do it right, since it can affect the terpenes, since some processes do affect this, while others may enhance the flavors or aromas, and some may also be responsible for the taste of it almost being vegetal in some cannabis, especially lower-quality cannabis that’s there. The right drying, storing, and curing also helps to ensure that the flower is maintained and that the THC is rightfully reserved so that it’s valued immensely.
It’s pretty much done in two kinds of ways, either wet or dry trimming. The dry of course, is where you dry it before you trim it. With wet trimming, you’re just trimming it before it’s dried. After that, you pretty much leave it in a place that’s dark, about 55-60% humidity in most cases, and about 60- degrees. You also can use a humidifier or dehumidifier, and also ensure that you’re getting the right amount of air. You then let it sit, usually about 2-3 days, before you can touch it, and also make sure that it’s dry.
Curing is pretty much the storage process and involves you putting this in jars that are airtight, along with hygrometers that are in each jar. Most of them use mason jars for curing this, but some may use wood, metal, or ceramic, but avoid plastic, as plastic does have oxygen get in. Basically, you fill these containers about a quarter full, not compacting this but enough so that they’re sitting comfortably in the jar itself.
From here, you monitor, and also look at the moisture within this, checking to make sure that the humidity is around 55-65% for each of these, creating a good environment that ensures the buds get a little bit of rehydration, but also not creating mildew and mold.
When you do this, you can also take off the lids for a bit, “burping” the jars within the first week to help get the moisture out, and also to replenish the oxygen. You can do this for about a week, and then, check it over the next few weeks, avoiding an ammonia smell.
You may need to do this for up to 8 weeks depending on the cannabis type, and some people may want to have it last a bit longer for the best results. This is important for ensuring that you get the best results and also to help get rid of moisture as well.